Malta fails to send documents requested for Panama Papers EP study

PANA committee study says Panama offshore model suggests as much as €237 billion was lost in EU tax revenues through base erosion and profit shifting

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Matthew Vella
27 April 2017, 6:32pm
The Chair of the Panama Papers Inquiry Committee of the European Parliament has said that the Maltese government failed to present documents requested by the same inquiry committee.

In November 2016, PANA president Werner Langen requested finance minister Edward Scicluna for a number of documents pertaining to taxation laws, and to be made available by January 2017 for an in-house analysis by the committee.

The documents requested included legal definitions of administrative and criminal tax-related offences in Malta, covering evasion, fraud and money laundering; the names and powers of entities handling suspicious transaction reports, the FIAU, and other entities dealing with tax crimes; and information on the national prosecution and penalties for tax-related crimes.

[PDF] The Impact of Schemes revealed by the Panama Papers on the Economy and Finances of a Sample of Member States

[PDF] Fighting tax crimes – Cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units

PANA committee chairman Werner Langen
PANA committee chairman Werner Langen
The committee also demanded to have information on the ongoing and planned investigations for the Panama Papers and the Bahamas leak.

The findings of the report show that the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers directly reduce the funds available to national authorities. In a sample of eight countries approximately €88 billion was lost to the tax base as a result of base erosion and profit shifting from the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers.

As a result of this this there is likely to be a revenue loss of approximately €19 billion in the sample of eight EU Member States alone. If this estimate is scaled up, this suggests a cost of the schemes to the EU28 in the range of €109 billion-237 billion (inclusive of the Panama Papers and other schemes like it).

Nationalist MEP David Casa said that it was “unacceptable” that Malta’s government drags the country’s name further down at European level. “It has now reached unbearable levels,” Casa said. “In light of the fresh revelations, added to the long list of previous allegations, I believe that the European Parliament, a beacon for free speech and rule of law, should put this topic on its agenda. As it has shown with determination in the past, the European parliament is on the side of European citizens and is always ready to take a stand on their behalf,” said MEP David Casa.

The Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, whose Panama and BVI companies were revealed in the Panama Papers leak of 2016, was asked again to appear in front of the Panama Papers Committee during the next plenary session in Strasbourg on the 18th of May. 

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.